March 2018 has been a wild month for the global cryptocurrency community.
Here’s a list of the news that topped headlines in March 2018.
See more: 2018 news bitcoin
1. Bill Gates says cryptocurrencies cause deaths
During an AMA on Reddit, the Microsoft founder expressed his thoughts on the impact of anonymity in digital currencies:
The main feature of crypto-currencies is their anonymity. I don’t think this is a good thing. The government’s ability to find money laundering and tax evasion and terrorist funding is a good thing…. Right now, crypto-currencies are used for buying fentanyl and other drugs so it is a rare technology that has caused deaths in a fairly direct way. I think the speculative wave around ICOs and crypto-currencies is super risky for those who go long.
2. Wellington Management Co. joins the crypto conversation
In a recent report, the Boston-based, $1 trillion firm expressed interest in including cryptocurrencies in some portfolios, writing:
Various Wellington teams are already positioning portfolios to take advantage of mining and blockchain implementations by, for example, investing in select chipmakers making components” for tracking and creating digital coins, the report said, without naming specific stocks.
3. Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ohno talks new blockchain-based cryptocurrency effort
As if snagging 8 medals across the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Olympics weren’t enough, Ohno is now focusing on a new blockchain venture called HybridBlock, which touts itself as an “all-in-one cryptocurrency trading ecosystem.” HybridBlock will launch its ICO in April.
4. Berkeley to Launch An “Initial Community Offering” to fund affordable housing
The city of Berkeley announced its ICO—an “Initial Community Offering”—in hopes of addressing systemic homelessness. The ICO is slated to launch in May. Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett explained that the idea emerged after President Donald Trump signed the tax bill into law late last year:
We [decided] to explore new forms of finance in response to the cuts from DC and corporate tax cuts that took away our ability to fund affordable housing. There are more than one-thousand homeless people living in Berkeley, which is projected to increase by a factor of five in the coming years. Many cities, just like Berkeley, are under a funding assault – we have to think outside of the box in order to solve this problem.
5. Craig Wright is being sued after alleged plot to steal billions of dollars of Bitcoin
The infamous Australian who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto was dealt a $10 billion lawsuit from Ira Kleiman, brother of Wright’s ex-colleague (deceased) David Kleiman, claiming Wright “forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him. Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.”
The $10 Billion lawsuit against Craig Wright claims Wright used a computer-generated font called Otto to forge Dave Kleiman’s signature and acquire hundreds of thousands of bitcoins. nftgamef.com/vFA6uowMZa
— Kyle Torpey (@kyletorpey) February 26, 2018
6. SEC sets its sights on crypto hedge funds
Inside sources claim that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is now targeting hedge funds that have sprung up in the past few years to invest and trade cryptocurrencies, including ICOs and token sales. The body recently sent requests for information from a number of crypto hedge funds probing their compliance and their pricing of digital investments.
7. Wyoming defines ‘Utility Tokens’ as new asset class
Amid news of federal regulation via the SEC and CFTC, the Wyoming legislature passed five bills into law regarding cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Specifically, the “Utility Token Bill” (Wyoming House Bill 70), which was signed into law March 7, makes Wyoming unique among any state in the world, defining utility tokens as a completely new asset class.
8. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey thinks bitcoin will be the world’s sole currency within 10 years
Speaking with The Times of London, the Twitter and Square CEO went on record claiming that Bitcoin will not only swing back from its current bear run, but do so in grand fashion:
The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be nftgamef.comably over ten years, but it could go faster.
9. Almost half of last year’s ICOs have already failed
Based on data from Tokendata, which lists 902 crowdsales for the year 2017, nftgamef.com reported that 46 percent have failed as of March 2018-with 142 failing at the funding stage, and an additional 276 failing after a successful crowdfund.
10. Trump bans U.S. purchases of Venezuela’s ‘Petro’ coin
Carrying his tradition of establishing law through executive orders, U.S. President Donald Trump banned Venezuela’s new national cryptocurrency, the Petro, from purchase by Americans or anybody in a U.S. territory. This is the first crypto-related executive order issued by President Trump.
11. Payza hit with money laundering lawsuit from US government
Just over a week ago, Payza, a digital payment processor, was charged by the U.S. government with running an unlicensed money services business. Brothers and co-founders Ferhan and Firoz Patel are accused of facilitating as much as $250 million in money laundering on behalf of Ponzi schemes and child pornography sites.
12. nftgamef.com reports loss in crypto job interest alongside price decline
Employment search engine nftgamef.com released a report Wednesday, March 28, claiming that cryptocurrency-related job searches have dropped significantly from there surge between June and Dec. 2017, where searches peaked at 39 per million for “bitcoin” and 46 per million for “cryptocurrency”:
Over the last year interest in cryptocurrency jobs on Indeed has risen strongly. However, in recent months the prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been volatile and (in some cases) declining…. Job seeker interest on Indeed for bitcoin and cryptocurrency jobs has fallen, too.
13. Vitalik Buterin and OmiseGo donate $1 million to charity for refugee effort
GiveDirectly, a charity that provides grants to the “extreme poor,” revealed on Tuesday, March 27 that it received $1 million USD in donation from OmiseGO (OMG) and Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin to empower a campaign in Uganda that aims to provide more than 12,000 refugee households with business opportunities.
14. Ford patent lays out ‘vehicle-to-vehicle’ communication and crypto transactions
On Monday, March 26, Ford was awarded a patent for “Vehicle-to-vehicle cooperation to marshal traffic.” The system would allow inter-vehicle communication and cryptocurrency transactions via a blockchain. This would include incorporating drivers’ speed and geo-location to execute autonomous decisions. According to the patent, this “Cooperatively Managed Merge and Pass (CMMP) system would operate:
…with individual token-based transactions, where the merchant vehicles and the consumers’ vehicles agree to trade units of cryptocurrency…. The CMMP tokens are used to validate and authorize a transaction in which, at consumer vehicle request, the merchant vehicles either occupy slower lanes of traffic themselves, or allow the consumer vehicle to merge into their own lane and pass as necessary. The participating merchant vehicles gain CMMP tokens from the consumer vehicle. In some examples, the time allotted to the request of the consumer vehicle is based on the number of CMMP tokens chosen by the consumer vehicle to be spent at that particular time. For example, a driver of a consumer vehicle which is running late for an appointment may request to pass any participating merchant vehicles for a duration of 10 minutes on a particular road or highway for 60 CMMP tokens, at a rate of 10 seconds preferential access per token.
15. Twitter bans cryptocurrency ads
Apparently Jack Dorsey’s thoughts on the inevitability of Bitcoin aren’t dependent on Twitter ads, as the company followed the lead of Facebook and Google in banning ads on the platform.
For more emerging technology coverage, including cryptocurrency, blockchain, VR/AR, AI, and more, follow Jesse Damiani on Forbes and on Twitter.